Pence blasts Harris's 'non-answer' on packing Supreme Court

Pence blasts Harris's 'non-answer' on packing Supreme Court
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Vice President Pence at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate blasted Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Watch live: Biden participates in HBCU homecoming Jennifer Aniston: 'It's not funny to vote for Kanye' MORE (D-Calif.) for refusing to say whether she would support expanding the Supreme Court in order to allow a Democratic president to nominate more liberal justices to the bench.

Harris and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE have avoided directly answering the question since it began gaining prominence last month following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgMcConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid Dozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE’s rapid nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat.

Harris on Wednesday responded to Pence’s repeated prompts about her position on court packing by shifting attention to Senate Republicans’ efforts to fast-track Barrett’s confirmation despite 2020 being an election year, a reversal of Republicans’ rationale for blocking former President Obama’s nominee late in his second term.


“Once again you gave a non-answer, Joe Biden gave a non-answer,” Pence replied. “The American people deserve a straight answer. And if you haven't figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.”

Wednesday’s debate featured numerous instances where the candidates declined to respond directly to questions posed by moderator Susan Page of USA Today. 

Moments earlier, Pence dodged a question on whether he would support a total ban of abortions at the state level if the rightward-shifting Supreme Court were to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion nationwide.

Harris’s side-stepping of the court packing question comes after Biden refused to give a definitive answer on his position during last week's presidential debate. 

“Whatever position I take in that, that'll become the issue,” Biden told debate moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace teases Sunday interview with 'bestie' Ice Cube Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Chris Wallace says he was 'jealous' of moderator watching final debate between Trump and Biden MORE of Fox News. “The issue is the American people should speak. You’re voting now. Vote, and let your senators know how you feel.”

To pack the court, Democrats would need to retake the White House and Senate and likely abolish the filibuster in order to pass legislation to add seats to the Supreme Court.